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Health Affects of Biocide in Cosmetic Products


Theskin is the largest organ of the body that protects internal tissues fromchemical, physical, and microbial damage. A cosmetic product is any substanceintended to be placed in contact with the external part of the human body forcleaning, perfuming, changing the appearance, protecting or keeping theepidermis, hair, nails, lips or mucous membranes in good condition. Opstrup andfriends says it is well known that chlorhexidine is widely used as adisinfectant in the healthcare setting. Less well known is the fact that itused in cosmetic products. They found chlorhexidine in various cosmetic producttypes, predominantly aimed at females, and in hair products. Chlorhexidine maycause type I and type IV allergy. The dioxane is an ether commonly found asdetergent, emulsifier, or solvent in cleansing agents such as shampoo,toothpaste, and mouthwash.Lenung and friends estimated cancer risk in humans byas much as 80 times from results obtained in animal studies. Lead is anaturally occurring mineral. In large enough ingested quantities, it causespoisoning and damages nerve conduction. Hepp and friend found inorganic lead isfound in progressive hair dyes and lipsticks. Phenol is a caustic that maycause cutaneous or gastrointestinal burns. Significant absorption may result insystemic toxicity. Phenol is marketed for the cleaning of bathrooms, kennels,and barns and as a shampoo for horses and dogs and is sometimes used in an “offlabel” manner for delousing human hair. Many cosmetics should have clear labelsindicating the chemical content allowing consumers to choose what products topurchase based on the chemical content. With this in mind, it is up to theconsumer to be vigilant about the products they purchase and to readinstructions on proper use. Keywords:Biocide,Cosmetic products, Health, Skin